By Adam Roberts – 12/29/2020
The grind of a college basketball season often means great teams will slip up against a team they should beat a handful of times during the year.
At the pro level, we saw that on Sunday as the Bucks fell to the Knicks. Last night, it happened to the Badgers.
The same day Wisconsin moved up to number six in the AP poll, it was upset by Maryland 70-64 at the Kohl Center. The game itself was pretty even throughout, with Maryland outshooting the Badgers 50-43.6 percent from the floor. But looking deeper at those numbers reveals the difference in the contest: Maryland outscored the Badgers 38-20 in the paint, and especially early on, cold shooting doomed Wisconsin (they started 1-6 shooting).
This is highly uncharacteristic of what the Wisconsin offense is. “That’s been a constant all year, of establishing our interior game first and letting the perimeter game play off of what we establish inside” said head coach Greg Gard. “And we did not do a good enough job of that…we left [some] points on the table by not being able to finish inside.”
Another difference came at the charity stripe; Wisconsin was 8-15 shooting free throws compared to 12-15 for the Terps.
Wisconsin can bounce back in a big way when it takes on #21 Minnesota New Years Eve; we’ll have that game on ESPN La Crosse 105.5, your official Badger station, starting at 2:30pm.